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Not So Bright Futures

April 2nd, 2009 by flanews

State lawmakers are taking the first steps to reduce the cost of Bright Futures Scholarships to the state. Legislation requiring universities to refund some bright future money if a student drops a class too late is causing concern. The bill could generate millions for the state, but as Whitney Ray tells us, it could lead to a not so bright future for some students.

Florida could cut the cost of the bright futures scholarship program by as much as 50 million dollars a year. The plan is to get money back from bright futures students who drop classes too late.

If they are already going to school on the Florida taxpayers dollars they should be taking it seriously not just taking it and dropping it so they are just wasting when it could have go to some else who needed, said Ryan Lojacono.

But not all students agree. Students fear passing the legislation could create a slippery slope that would drastically changes bright futures. State Senator Frederica Wilson says the legislature should leave bright futures alone.

What we can do now to benefit children who are in the program is try to maintain them while the state looks at other means of raising revenue, said Wilson.

Governor Charlie Crist spoke with the bill sponsor and says the legislation would help students graduate on time.

He assured me that he thought it was very good legislation and it would end up helping higher education and students and their opportunity to get their degree more rapidly, said Crist.

If changes to the scholarship program dont stop with the latest proposal the future of some students may not be so bright.

The bill would also require Bright Futures students to complete 24 credit hours a year. Students who don’t meet the credit requirements would have their scholarships taken away for a year.

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